Rex Garr, 1931-2017

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Funeral services for Rex E. Garr, 85, of Albert Lea will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Bridge Community Church. The Rev. Clayton Balsley will officiate.

Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion honor guards. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. Online condolences are welcome at

Rex Garr

Rex died Monday, July 10, 2017, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

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Rex Elbert Garr was born Oct. 6, 1931, in Chapel, Missouri, the son of Jesse C. and Laura Belle (West) Garr.

Rex was a sergeant in the Marine Corps and served in Korea, earning several medals for his time of service. He was united in marriage to Elaine A. Skogheim in August 1955 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and had three children together: Dawn, DeDe and Rex “Buzz” Jr.

Rex started his heating and air conditioning career at the business of his father-in-law, Andrew Skogheim, Andy’s Sheet Metal in Albert Lea. He spent the rest of his working career at Kelley Plumbing and Heating, but his passion was his time spent as a race car driver. He raced for 24 years all over Minnesota, Iowa and California. The highlights were when he was awarded the Fan’s Favorite Race Car Driver Award and Best Dressed Pit Crew. He enjoyed following many sports in person and on television — especially Indy racing. He was also a loyal Denver Broncos fan.

Rex was a devoted Christian and spent 35 years volunteering as an Awana leader and many years as a Sunday school teacher at Calvary Baptist Church in Albert Lea. He enjoyed spending as much time as possible at his second home in Arizona and became a member of East Mesa Baptist Church in Mesa while living there. He had an extra special place in his heart for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and loved being known as the cookie grandpa.

Rex is survived by his wife of 62 years, Elaine (Skogheim) Garr; children Dawn Knutson, DeDe (Bob) Haroldson and Rex “Buzz” Garr; grandchildren Tonya (Eric) Ruzek, Samantha (Fran) Bekaert, Kara (Dan) Pryde, Clint (fiancee, Ericha) Benson, Dustin Haroldson, Cody (fiance, Chelsey) Haroldson, Sammy Garr, Brianne (special friend, Comet) Garr and Terissa Cotten; great-grandchildren Cole, Myia, Jace, Makayla, Cierra, Macy, Boston, Gavin, Cade, Jaeda, Laura, Jesse and Emerald; sister, Thelma Tonga; special nephew, Mike Wolter; and special niece, Tammy Wolter.

Rex was preceded in death by his parents Jesse and Laura Garr; brother, Lawrence Garr; sister, Dorothy; and special niece, Lauretta Wolter.

Memorials are preferred to the Awana program at Bridge Community Church, formerly Calvary Baptist Church, in Albert Lea.